Brand Strategy: It’s All about the Journey
Many new brands and businesses fail because of people trying to figure out the strategy along the way. But you have to do it first.
BEFORE GOING ON a long trip, don’t we all make long lists?
Warm-weather clothes, cold-weather clothes, toothbrush, passport, underwear, three books, my iPod, chargers for everything, OH! and those good shoes in case we go dancing.
Frantic but all packed up we run out the door and jump in the car and just start driving. We drive all day, all night, and into the next day. But then it starts to dawn us (OMG!) that we forgot something essential…
The one thing that is elemental for any trip got left behind. Or worse, we never even had it in the first place. We need a destination, and we need a map of how to get from here to there.
Just when you stop saying to yourself that this could never happen to you, think about what it means to your brand. You created it. You nurtured it. You elevated it from a simple collection of data and algorithms into a cool app that integrates into any platform, fully responsive, and ready to handle anything. It is a seriously good brand. Anyone could use it, and everyone needs it!
But your brand needs a destination and a map just as much as you do. That is why we have a thing called strategy. Without a brand strategy, your seriously cool brand will be doomed to stay on the hard-drive forever. The brand strategy tells you exactly who should be buying your brand, where they shop, what the competitors are doing, and how it evolves over time. If you do know any of this, your brand will be as lost as you are.
When you set out to create your brand, a natural first question you ask yourself is why you are doing this. You got the idea for an app (for irony's sake let's call it TravelMate Pro) because you were lost on the Italian superstrada between Rome and Bologna. You wanted to get to Bologna, but you also wanted to check out the sites along the way. The idea was born to help people like you!
This is where the journey begins. From here, constructing a brand strategy is a matter of taking each step one at a time. It is a slow process sometimes, but the result should be something fairly simple and straightforward. Like the road you are on.
The strategy needs to take into account any other competing products already on the market. It calls for research on pricing and packaging. It will force you to think about the brand’s messages and design and how they integrate under the aegis of your brand. The final destination is also a question you need to ask – are you making it to sell and improve under your guidance over years, or are you hoping a software giant will want to buy you out?
Ask for Directions
The strategy is an integral part of your brand, and the brand is not complete without it. Once you have your concept and working model, you should already be consulting with branding, marketing, and business consultants on how to get your great idea to market as efficiently and effectively as possible. And while you could possibly common-sense your way through it, making beginner mistakes along the way, the consultants are there to show you tested and proven ways to get the job done right from the outset.
Many new brands and businesses fail because of people trying to figure out the strategy along the way. You have to do it first. Get your bearings, look at the horizon, take expert advice, and soon the TravelMate Pro will be helping thousands of travelers to have the experiences of a lifetime.
And they will thank you for taking the time to set a brand strategy.